UPDATE 3/26 3 p.m.: The Navy officially identified the sailor who died in the shooting aboard the USS Mahan at Naval Station Norfolk as 24-year-old Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Mark Mayo of Hagerstown, MD. Mayo was assigned to Naval Security Forces.
Naval Criminal Investigative Services investigators say they know the identity of the shooter who was killed, but are not releasing the name due to the on-going investigation. NCIS investigators say they do not have any specific information yet about a motive for the shooting, but they do not believe it was a pre-planned attack.
The suspect used a TWIC Card (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) to access the base, which is an acceptable form of identification. However, Naval Station Norfolk commanding officer Capt. Robert Clark says the suspect "did not have authorization to be on my base,".
The suspect accessed the base in a 2002 Freightliner truck, drove close to Pier 1 where the USS Mahan was docked, parked the vehicle and walked the rest of the way.
Clark says an investigation is underway to determine if any security procedures were violated in letting the suspect on the base. Clark says he will take "immediate and appropriate action" if he finds that procedures were violated.
Rear Adm. Jeffrey Hartley has been appointed to lead an investigation in to the circumstances surrounding the shooting. A press release from U.S. Fleet Forces command says "The second investigation will be convened under the Manual of the Judge Advocate General. This investigation will be a comprehensive examination into the circumstances surrounding the Naval Station Norfolk shooting, to include a review of applicable policy, programs and implementation."
"Petty Officer Mayo's actions on Monday evening were nothing less than heroic. He selflessly gave his own life to ensure the safety of the Sailors on board USS Mahan (DDG 72)," said Capt. Robert E. Clark, Jr., commanding officer, Naval Station Norfolk. "Petty Officer Mayo's family has endured a tremendous loss, as have the men and women of Naval Station Norfolk, in the loss of a shipmate and friend."
The events of Monday evening are under investigation but it is known at approximately 11:20 p.m. there was a shooting on board Mahan at Pier 1. The suspect approached the Mahan's quarterdeck and was confronted by the ship's petty officer of the watch. A struggle occurred and the suspect was able to disarm the Sailor. Mayo, serving as the chief-of-the-guard, rendered assistance after seeing the suspect board the ship. Mayo put himself between the gunman and the petty officer of the watch and as a result was fatally wounded.
NORFOLK -- A person familiar with reports about the confrontation that left a sailor and his accused shooter dead on Naval Station Norfolk said the shooter entered base Monday night driving a tractor trailer.
That person told 13News Now partner Navy Times the accused shooter had proper credentials to enter the naval station and Pier 1, something confirmed by Commanding Officer Captain Robert Clark.
When the driver reached Pier 1 and USS Mahan, Navy Times said the quarterdeck watch noticed the driver acting erratically. Watchstanders approached him, at which point there was a struggle. The driver got a hold of the gun belonging to the petty officer of the watch. The driver fired, hitting the chief of the guard who was on his way to help. He died from his injury. The watchstander on Mahan shot the driver, killing him.
Clark said the person who entered base performed work at the naval station and had a TWIC card that allowed him to be there.
According to the Navy Sealift Command website, "A TWIC ( Transportation Worker Identification Credential) provides U.S. maritime workers unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002. It is a Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Coast Guard initiative and a minimum employment requirement for Military Sealift Command. To obtain a TWIC, an individual must provide biographic and biometric information such as fingerprints, sit for a digital photograph, and successfully pass a security threat assessment conducted by TSA."
Clark said the investigation is ongoing and he could not release details on whether the man was a current employee at the base.
Clark added security at the base is "getting better every day" but staff would review procedures in light of the shooting.
The shooting took place about 11:20 p.m. Monday aboard the guided missile destroyer.
"Teri and I join our entire Hampton Roads and military communities in mourning this tragic loss of life. The Navy, and our friends and neighbors who bravely serve our nation in Hampton Roads, are an integral part of the fabric of our communities in VA-02 and beyond. We must do everything we can to ensure their safety, whether here at home or when deployed.”
Rep. Randy Forbes via Facebook:
"My deepest condolences to the family and friends of the sailor who was tragically shot and killed at Naval Station Norfolk last night. Praying."